Oral health for busy lives
The Australian Dental Association’s Dental Health week kicks off on August 7 - how are your dental habits?
tooth brushing and flossing, but used afterwards as an adjunct to freshen breath.
Drinking water, reducing sugary-laden snacks and drinks between meals and chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal will also reduce the acidity in the mouth and reduce tooth decay.
Children’s or baby teeth should be cleaned as soon as they appear by using a clean wet cloth or face washer, morning and before bedtime.
At 12 months (or earlier if tolerated) an infant toothbrush can be used with water and the child should start to learn to spit while brushing.
At 18 months, low fluoride children’s toothpaste the size of a grain of rice on a soft children’s toothbrush can be used. This can be increased to a pea size at the age of three if the child is able to spit so as to avoid swallowing toothpaste.
Once the baby teeth are through and touching each other, gentle flossing can be started, at night time.
As a general rule parents should brush and floss their children’s teeth until the child gets their ‘pen licence’ - usually around eight to ten years old.
Avoid overnight feeding for babies such as milk in a bottle at bedtime as it can lead to tooth decay. A visit to the dentist is recommended by the child’s first birthday and from then on, every six months.
Five or six minutes in a 24 hour day is all it takes to look after our teeth and gums to maintain proper long term oral and systemic health.